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Commonly Misused Resume Words

April 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 174

At one point in the interview, you're going to be asked what your strengths are or for three words that describe you (it's basically the same question). You blurt out reliable or dependable, hardworking and flexible. Why, because these are the most popular words that people use, they are safe and somewhat descriptive. The interviewer nods their head and you feel like you've finally gotten a question right. You gave an honest answer about yourself. But was it the best answer?

Let's look at the words chosen. Reliable\dependable were the first ones out of your mouth. A car is reliable, a washing machine is dependable. These words are great choices for describing a machine, not a person. A person is responsible. This is a word with meaning and depth. Not only does it imply the reliable\dependable traits you wish to convey, it says you just doesn't follow instructions, but will take and show initiative. It says you can be trusted, that you care about doing things right, and will take responsibility for what you do. Do you want someone who is dependable or responsible?

Hardworking is another popular phrase that pays. It pops up on resumes and in interview answers all the time. But that is an expectation of job performance. A better term would be diligent. A diligent employee is a hard worker who pays attention to the details of the situation or task. A diligent person uses their mind to solve problems and focuses on the big picture.

Flexible is defined as the ability to change. A better, more accurate term is versatile. Versatility is all about the talent or usefulness of a person, of being able to use all of your skills and abilities to figure out the whys to do more how's. Simply put, a flexible person is one who is willing to change shifts while a versatile person is able to take on new challenges and opportunities. Versatility has more usefulness to an employer. By choosing words with value, you can stand out in a positive way.

One last example of the importance of choosing the right word is the choice between teacher and trainer. The difference, in a nutshell is you train animals, you teach people. Training is the ability to repeat an action, over and over and over again. Teaching is the building of skills or knowledge and the proper implementation of what was presented. There is a greater wisdom in being taught as opposed to being trained. A teacher is an educator. When taught a new skill, if something happens, you can roll with the changes and develop a proper plan of action. Someone who was trained can only repeat the actions they learned.

By choosing the right words, you can better illustrate why you are the best candidate. It shows you're not just a doer but a thinker, someone who can make more of a contribution to the growth of an organization. It shows you are responsible, diligent, versatile rather than reliable, hardworking and flexible. So, which words best describe you?

Are you looking for a new career opportunity and want to learn how to present your skills more effectively? If so, I recommend my book "Pieces Of The Puzzle - A Job Hunters Guide for the 21st Century." which is currently available at

Source: EzineArticles
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Choosing Resume Words


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